Too lazy to go home hunting? Hate people? Like computers? You’re in luck— a $3.1 million home in Mercer Island, Wash. is now available for showing in the virtual world.
It’s also a real home in the real world, of course, listed by Coldwell Banker Bain on their Web site. But the 3-D reproduction is located in Second Life, the Internet-based virtual world developed by privately-held Linden Lab. Here, Second Life resident avatars can “walk” through each room of the house and click through to the actual listing if interested.
This is the first time a national real estate brand has used the virtual community to market an individual home, though Coldwell Banker already has a sales office in Second Life and an inventory of more than 500 properties there. Since the company entered the community in March, they have generated more than 130,000 visitors.
Coldwell Banker says they are “taking home selling to a new level” with this new service. But it seems like everyone has gone Second Life crazy. Is this really the future? It seems more like another attention-getting marketing tactic than a realistic way to sell a home. But you have to admit it’s kind of cool. Click here for access.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.